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Google CEO says situation in China 'stable'

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CIOL Bureau
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CALIFORNIA, USA: Google chief executive Eric Schmidt tried to reassure the company's shareholders on Thursday, saying the company's business in China was stable following its decision two months ago to stop censoring Web search results.

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He also said that he expected the acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob Inc. to pass regulatory muster, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Schmidt made his comment on AdMob after a shareholder asked Google executives about a media report saying Google agreed to pay a $700 million kill fee in the event it wasn't able to follow through on its agreement to buy AdMob.

While addressing the Google's annual shareholders meeting the CEO said Google has maintained its business relationships and engineering centers in China.

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“Should the Chinese government become upset with us, or become further upset with us or what have you, they do have the ability to change this outcome,” he said at the meeting which was streamed live on Google-owned YouTube, adding, “From Google's perspective we made our decision, we've implemented it, we want to continue to serve the Chinese citizens.”

Recently, Google had shut its mainland Chinese-language portal following a rift with the Chinese authorities over censorship. The search giant had also alleged that it and a number of other companies had been targeted by sophisticated China-based cyberattacks.

Meanwhile, according to a Reuters report, the US has said that Internet freedom is a dimension of the country's pursuit of freedom of expression. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made this comment on the backdrop of a formal dialogue on human rights between the United States and China which resumed in Washington on Thursday after a two-year hiatus.

“Rule of law, religious freedom, freedom of expression, labor rights and other human rights issues of concern will be raised over a two-day period," said Crowley, adding, “Internet freedom is a dimension of our pursuit of freedom of expression.”

However, he said he was unsure whether the Google issue would be raised but wouldn't be surprised if it did come up.

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